And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Are. You. Serious.

In my attempts to lead a healthier life, I have been exercising every day. It sounds like a lot when I say that, but really 30-60 min of cardio every day and a few sets of weight training exercises every other day really hasn't been taking very much time.

Yeah, right. Like 1 1/2 hours. Every. Single. Day.

I keep telling myself it will be worth it, once I get to the point that I stop feeling as if a heart attack is two heartbeats away at all times.

Unfortunately, between my weight (think Garfield, here) and a family history of joint issues, walking has been taking a toll on my knee joints. Ben Gay has become my best friend, and every day activities are torture. All in the name of looking and feeling good, right? Well, I was looking around for something low- or no-impact that I could do, and came upon an old pilates workout DVD that I had sitting around the house. I had never even taken it out of the box before. Sad, I know. It looked good. Slow, easy, no-impact work that would strengthen my core and (hopefully) help me out with my chronic back pain and horrid posture.

Oh. Golly.

Have you ever seen one of those workouts?! Are those people really human? I am convinced they are not attached at the joints, just loose and floppy like my old rag doll. Seriously. I mean, to a "big and beautiful" woman like myself, this kind of thing...

might as well be this kind of thing....

And rather than looking like the graceful 'droid on the video, I am sure that my red face, grunting, and flopping around would resemble a hog getting in a good wallow on a hot day.

How I just love that self image. Huh.

When I got to Mom's this morning, she let me use her strider-glider exercise thingy. It is like that Gazelle machine that you used to see info-mercials about. Remember the dude with the ponytail and the yelling? Yeah, that thing.

I gotta say, while it may look like some crazy circus apparatus, this thing is AMAZING on the knees. I would say that it wasn't as difficult of a cardio workout as walking or jogging, but I was able to get my heart rate up and get a good "glow" going. That is a really nice way of saying that I was sweating like a farm-hand. I just can't get over how great it felt on the knees, though. I did almost a full hour on that thing! Though my feet were killing me and eventually went numb, I never once felt like my knees were going to fall apart. The best part? Mom is going to give me the crazy thing! She can't use it anymore, and she just wants it out of her basement.

I am going to keep thinking about the Pilates thing, though. If contorting myself into those torturous positions will give me that kind of grace and flexibility....well, let's just say it might be worth looking like a beached whale in death throes now to look like that later.



Deb said...

If it's any consolation, I have two Pilates DVD's that have hardly ever been viewed. I say do yoga; much kinder and gentler. But that said, I can't seem to get myself to do yoga either.

The Rambling Taoist said...

I think it's just important that you do something quasi-physical each day. It doesn't need to be regimented and it doesn't have to be the same thing. Heck, chasing your sprouts might be the ticket sometimes! :)

In the end, do the stuff you enjoy.

Lisa said...

If you do get yourself into one of those positions, will you post a picture??? I need to start out and end every day by spitting liquid through my nose!!

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

I don't know why you are concerned Barefoot, you look pretty good on that Gazelle thingy to me...

RuthieJ said...

Good luck with your self-improvement quest Barefoot.
I started mine this weekend too after spending a horrifying half-hour in a dressing room at Penneys trying on clothes--there was a lot more of me hiding under the winter layers of clothes than I remember from last fall!

barefoot gardener said...

I really like the idea of yoga and just seems that whenever I start doing it, the coolness factor fades really quickly.

Unfortunately, the things I enjoy are sitting on the couch with a book and sitting in bed with a book...not very conducive to losing weight ;D

Dearheart... if I EVER get myself into one of those poses, do you think I am stupid enough to have someone around who can take a picture? HA! No. Way.

Aww, now I am gonna have to cross "the pond" and give you a big ol' smackery kiss on the cheek for being so sweet. If I looked like that gal, I wouldn't bother with the whole exercise thing at all!

It is no fun to go shopping when you aren't happy with your body...good luck!

Anonymous said...

I am a pilate instructor and it really will help you with your back pains. The reason you have back pain is because your core isn't strong enough to support you and puts pressure on your back. Your back can't do all the heavy lifting and needs your core to hold up your body. I got into pilates because of chronic back pain and I couldn't do most of what was asked of me. But I learned to trust the process and over time, a lot of time, it became easier. I would suggest you stay with it. It helps if you can get to a mat class with a well trained instructor or take a few classes were you can get on a reformer.